MANILA – A Catholic priest on Monday acknowledged that while there is no perfect response to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the government, private sector and the clergy are doing their best to help mitigate the situation.

“The social amelioration program was a welcome assistance but not everybody was satisfied and has even raised the question of unequal redistribution of government resources. Other sectors also want a piece of the pie but what complicates it more is that not all groups publicly known to benefit from it have not received theirs due to gray areas in the program’s implementation,” said Fr. Jerome Secillano of the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in Sampaloc, Manila in a statement titled, “In God’s own time, the anti-bodies will come.”

He also recognized local government units (LGUs) for exerting all efforts to assist their constituents.

“Thanks to some LGUs who have gone all out in serving their constituents but their effectiveness have inadvertently exposed the ineptness of others leading to added miseries to less-served Filipinos now hopelessly looking for good governance and effective response to this crisis from their leaders,” he added.

Secillano also expressed hope that businessmen will quickly recover their losses from the public health emergency.

“The business sector prudently avoided talking about losses but they are surely feeling the brunt of Covid-19 and it will just be a matter of time when they make their move and start focusing on how to recoup what they lost,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said the Church has also contributed to the solution by combining “liturgy and charity in keeping afloat the dwindling optimism of Filipinos.

“But even the charity part may have to take a backseat for a time, given the fact that she has her own financial limitations, especially with Covid-19 canceling out many of her public celebrations. But the good thing about the Church, even with financial constraints, she has not reneged on her duty to serve the Filipinos even serving those not belonging to her fold.”

He also urged the faithful to follow the enhanced community quarantine since it is for the good of all.

“But we have to understand that quarantine and social distancing are not guarantees for a Covid-19-free infection. There were people who succumbed to complications from this virus even when they already made themselves virtual prisoners in their own homes. However, by locking ourselves and modifying our social activities, we limit our exposure for getting it and consequently, for infecting others. While we are hopeful about the cure for Covid-19, the use of the phrase “in God’s own time” (kairos) may connote a different meaning. It may mean that we have to wait in eternity, so while waiting, we need to follow government protocols and lock ourselves up in the confines of our homes,” he added.

Secillano said it is understandable that public funds are declining.

“But we all have our limits. Government resources are dwindling, business sector response is time-bound, church’s charity may not be enough, and the people’s patience may be running out. It seems that “Kairos” is not what we need right now. It is “Kronos”, meaning, we have to find the cure “Now”,” he added.

He, meanwhile, approved the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte which recognized that there is God.

“But there is wisdom in what the President said hours ago, ‘In God’s time, the Anti-bodies will come’. It was a statement of humility. He, who cursed God to high heavens, now finally recognizes that he is no better than this “stupid God”. His looks betray his usual bravado. His is a picture of surrender, an acknowledgment that only a Higher Being can lead experts to the discovery of the cure to Covid-19,” he said. (PNA)

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